Motion to support Kurdish hunger strikers

A template motion to take to your union or Labour Party branch or constituency party, or council meeting, to show solidarity with the hunger striker's demands and call for action.

This meeting notes that:

In recent years, Turkey’s prisons have become filled with Kurdish political prisoners, elected politicians from the HDP opposition party and has been described as the “world’s biggest prison for journalists” by Reporters Sans Frontiers.

Kurdish political prisoner Abdullah Öcalan has been held in extreme isolation on Imrali island prison since 1999, a total of 20 years. The conditions in which Abdullah Öcalan are kept have been described as torture and they break the conventions of the UN recognised Mandela rules for the ethical treatment of prisoners.

Whilst Turkey’s own laws allow for weekly legal visits, requests by Öcalan’s legal team are either refused or ignored and Öcalan has had no contact with lawyers since July 2011.

Kurdish refugee Imam Sis in Newport, Wales joined a global hunger strike in December 2018 which is now the longest hunger strike in UK history. Three residents of Haringey, North London joined the hunger strike in March: Ali Poyraz, Nahide Zengin and Mehmet Sait Yilmaz. They are part of a worldwide hunger strike of thousands, many of whom are political prisoners in Turkish jails.

On Wednesday the 20th of March 2019 the Welsh Assembly voted in favour of a motion that advised the Welsh Government to write to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) and ask that they re-open their investigation into the treatment of Kurdish political prisoner Abdullah Öcalan.

This meeting resolves to:

  • Express solidarity with the hunger strikers’ just demands that both the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and the Turkish state fulfil their legal duties
  • Call on the branch/constituency/council/MP to apply all possible pressure on the London Assembly members/Mayor's Office/local authority to use their influence to call on the CPT to reopen investigations and for the Turkish state to fulfil its legal obligations in the treatment of Abdullah Öcalan and all political prisoners in Turkey
  • Call on the local MP to write to Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to urge him to put pressure on Turkey, and write to the Committee for the Prevention of Torture expressing concern over the wellbeing of Abdullah Öcalan, political prisoners in Turkey on hunger strike and call on them to re-open their investigation into Öcalan’s conditions


London hunger strikers with Maxine Peake

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